Our dens and offices are filled with hip tech, but our kitchens and utility rooms lag far behind those in Europe. For one thing, with strict EU energy efficiency standards, they are all about power and water savings. Here are examples of Europe's appliance superiority from last week's IFA in Berlin.
Europe loves induction cooking, for good reason. An induction stovetop never gets hot, just the stuff in the pot or pan – I saw a demo where a liter of water came to a boil in less than three minutes, even though there was a sheet of paper towel between the "hob" (the cooking element) and the pot. Induction uses half the power or a regular electric stove. Induction tops clean up as easy as a countertop. This Samsung Anyplace induction top, which will be available in Europe sometime next year, does away with hobs – the pot or pan can be placed anywhere, even slide around while the food inside continues to cook. I'll have more on the wonders of induction cooking – and why it's so expensive in the U.S. – next week.